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Raiders start soccer season with 4-1 win in Winona

The Hastings boys soccer season got off to a great start on Friday with a 5-1 win over Winona-Cotter.

Five different players scored goals for Hastings.

They were Alex Lewanski, Keegan McIntosh, Tristan Nelson, Bailey Platson and Sam Romain.

Assists were made by Lewanski (2), Scott Matecki, Alex Melecio and Nelson.

Ian Johnson played in goal for Hastings and got the win. He was helped by a strong defensive effort in front of him, Hastings coach Shane Lanning said.

"Our defense played very solid," Lanning siad. "Overall, it was a really good start to the season."

Lanning said Romain and Nate Strauss acted as the leaders of the defense, playing in the center of the field.

Thomas Mattimiro, Josh Mann and Alex Santelman also had crucial roles on defense.

"What I really liked to see from them was that htey were switching the ball across the back," Lanning said. "They'd swing it back through Sam or Nate to the other side. We could get a fresher look, and some more open space. It was nice to see that, instead of them kicking the ball out of bounds and losing possession.

"I always like to see that kind of play. Soccer is all about possession. If you aren't holding on to the ball, you are playing defense."

The road trip actually began a day earlier for Hastings, when they traveled to LaCrosse, Wis., to scrimmage against LaCrosse Logan.

In the scrimmage, Hastings won 1-0, thanks to a goal by McIntosh and an assist by Lewanski.

"Hopefully, these two games will be a confidence booster as we into some of our more difficult conference games," Lanning said.